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Who is this 17-year-old Swiss ace on being chased by Middlesbrough? The next big thing in the Championship?

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Stephane Cueni scout report: Everything to know about Middlesbrough’s target

As per a report from Italian publication Calciomercato, EFL Championship outfit Middlesbrough are in the running to sign Switzerland’s teenage sensation Stephane Cueni.

The 17-year-old midfielder, who plies his trade for the U18s of Swiss fourth division club Team Vaud, has emerged as a transfer target for a number of Italian top-flight clubs like Udinese, Parma and Torino. And Middlesbrough too have thrown their hat in the ring to try and lure the teenage midfielder to the Riverside Stadium. (h/t Calciomercato)

With serious interest from Boro in the midfielder, let’s take a closer look at who Stephane Cueni really is and what he would bring to the table should the Teessiders sign him;

Footballing Background

Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, on March 14 2001, Cueni came through the youth ranks at Team Vaud and made his debut for the U18 side back in 2016 at the age of 15 years, 7 months and 22 days.

The midfielder became a regular for the U18s in the 2017/18 campaign and was appointed captain as well, as he ended the campaign with 3 goals from 24 appearances. The 17-year-old also made his debut for the U21s, with a five-minute cameo in May earlier this year.

He has featured 10 times for the U18s in the ongoing term and has added another substitute appearance for the U21s as well. Cueni is yet to break into the senior setup at Team Vaud, however.

The teenager has represented the Switzerland national team at the U16 level and has been called up for the U17s as well as the U18s, but is yet to make his debut for either side.

Style of Play

A central midfielder who excels in the box to box role, the 17-year-old can also play the anchor role deep in the middle of the park and has been used as an auxiliary forward at times in the ongoing campaign as well.

Cueni possesses a decent turn of pace and has the ability to drive at opposition through the middle of the park, putting his dribbling skills to use. The teenager has the vision and the range of distribution to launch attacks with diagonal balls from deep areas in the midfield and can mix it up with short incisive passes through the opposition. At 5’9”, he isn’t the tallest but has the strength to shield the ball under pressure from opponents.

Not shy of putting in the hard yards defensively, Cueni is a strong, aggressive tackler and seems to possess good defensive awareness as well. However, what stands out about his game is his calmness and maturity when on the ball. The midfielder never seems hurried under pressure, which is a great sign for someone his age.

What does the future hold?

Cueni’s contract with Team Vaud runs out at the end of the season, leading to the interest in him from several clubs. At 17, the midfielder has a long way to go but the early signs are positive.

Read More: Smart and risk-free signing – Liverpool must continue their pursuit of this 21-year-old Middlesbrough powerhouse

Middlesbrough, who are currently embroiled in the promotion battle in the Championship, should be viewing the teenager as one for the future and Cueni does seem to possess the potential to grow into a first-team member in the years to come.

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Derby County

[Image] Here’s the EFL Championship TOTW for gameweek 7 featuring Middlesbrough and Leeds stars

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2019-20 EFL Championship: Team of the Week Round 7 

Round 7 of the 2019-20 EFL Championship had everything in store for all sections of the fans to savour and admire, as the players returned to action following the end of the international break. 

There was hardly any shortage of twists, turns and talking points in Round 7. Leeds United reclaimed top spot in the standings, Swansea and Charlton Athletic lost their unbeaten status, Stoke City and Huddersfield Town continued their losing habits and West Brom remained the only unbeaten side in the division. 

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There were some fantastic individual performances too, and with that in mind, here’s the Team of the Week for Round 7 in a 4-3-3 formation.

Championship Team of the Week

Darren Randolph (GK)

The Irish shot-stopper made some crucial saves to propel Middlesbrough to a 1-0 victory over Reading at the Riverside Stadium and he definitely deserves a place in the elite elven.

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Scott Malone (LB)

Derby County remained in the bottom half with a 1-1 draw against Cardiff City but the left-back put in a much-improved performance as compared to his previous outings and scored the Rams’ only goal.

Maxime Colin (RB)

Birmingham City broke into the top-ten by ending Charlton’s unbeaten run with a 1-0 victory away from home, and the Frenchman was instrumental in the Blues’ win with his solid display at the back. 

Derrick Williams (CB)

The Irish centre-back was one of the standout performers, as Blackburn Rovers got themselves back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Millwall.

Darragh Lenihan (CB)

One of the architects of Blackburn’s victory at the weekend, the Irish defender is one of the surprise inclusions in this week’s elite eleven. 

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Kalvin Phillips (CDM)

The central midfielder put up yet another dogged display in the midfield to guide Leeds United to a 2-0 victory over Barnsley, registering an assist with a free-kick for Nketiah’s goal. 

Eberechi Eze (RAM)

The Nigerian has really come of age for QPR this term and the attacking midfielder was once again one of the driving forces behind his team’s 3-2 victory over Luton Town, registering a goal and an assist in the process.

Mateusz Klich (LAM)

The Polish international once again proved his worth as one of Marcelo Bielsa’s trusted lieutenants in the middle of the park and secured a 2-0 victory for his team with a well-taken penalty towards the end of the game. 

Robert Glatzel (RW)

The towering German centre-forward equalised from the penalty spot for Cardiff City in the Bluebirds’ 1-1 draw against Derby County and finally registered his first goal of the EFL Championship.

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Harry Cornick (LW)

Luton lost a five-goal thriller at Loftus Road but Cornick impressed with a goal and an assist in what was a fine individual performance. 

Nakhi Wells (ST)

A proven source of goals in the EFL Championship, Wells bagged a brace in QPR’s 3-2 victory over Luton Town to hand Mark Warburton’s side a third consecutive victory in the league.

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Bristol City

3 Winners and 3 Losers from Championship gameweek 7 including Leeds United and Swansea City

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2019-20 EFL Championship: 3 Winners and 3 Losers from Round 7

The players returned to action for their respective clubs this weekend when the international break finally came to an end and Round 7 of the 2019-20 EFL Championship witnessed quite a few twists and turns, most notably, with Leeds United displacing Swansea City to reclaim the top spot in the standings.

Swansea and newly-promoted Charlton Athletic both saw their unbeaten run in the division come to a halt, while Stoke City and Huddersfield Town once again finished the week at the bottom of the table with defeats against Bristol City and Sheffield Wednesday respectively.

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Elsewhere, West Brom drew 1-1 away at Fulham to remain the only unbeaten side in the Championship after seven rounds. Without further ado, let us take a look at 3 winners and 3 losers from Round 7:

Winners

1. Leeds United

A narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of Swansea City at home in the previous league fixture saw Leeds United go into the international break placed second in the standings but Marcelo Bielsa’s side reclaimed the top spot with a comfortable 2-0 victory away at Barnsley on Sunday, overtaking the Swans, who slumped to an unexpected 1-0 defeat at home against Nottingham Forest. 

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The Whites dominated the proceedings but it took them as long as 84 minutes to finally break the deadlock, thanks to Eddie Nketiah’s opener off a free kick from Kalvin Phillips.

Nketiah then earned the penalty for Mateusz Klich to make it 2-0 just before the end of the game and the Yorkshire giants should be pleased to get back to the top of the table after a long and hard grind against the newly-promoted outfit. 

2. Bristol City

The Robins went into the fixture against Stoke City away from home on the back of an unbeaten run of five games in the EFL Championship and a 2-1 victory saw Lee Johnson’s side stretch their streak to six games. 

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Sam Clucas gave the Potters the lead with a crisp strike from inside the box but Stoke were always going to be in trouble after Joe Allen received a straight red card for a horrible lunge.

Famara Diedhiou’s header levelled the scores in the 55th minute before a failed goalline clearance from Tom Edwards sealed things for Bristol City, who finished the week placed 4th in the standings. 

3. QPR

Queens Park Rangers had the chance to make it three in a row in the Championship this weekend when they played host to newly-promoted Luton Town at Loftus Road, having beaten Wigan Athletic and Sheffield Wednesday prior to the international break.

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And Mark Warburton’s side edged past the Hatters in a 3-2 thriller on Saturday, with the victory pushing them to 7th place in the standings just behind the likes of West Brom and Preston on goal difference. 

When Eberechi Eze opened the scoring in the third minute and Nakhi Wells made it 3-0 before the half-hour mark with a quickfire brace, it looked as if the hosts were heading for a pretty straightforward victory.

Luton, though, showed a lot of character to get back into the game with goals from Harry Cornick and James Collins but that wasn’t enough to prevent QPR from making it 4 wins out of 7.

Losers

1. Swansea City

Swansea started Round 7 at the top of the standings after their victory over Leeds United in the last game but Steve Cooper’s side saw their unbeaten run come to a sudden halt at the hands of Nottingham Forest, who bagged all three points at the Liberty Stadium courtesy of Alfa Semedo’s 85th-minute goal. 

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The Swans had more of the possession throughout the game but they failed to create enough clear-cut chances and Cooper has every reason to be disappointed with his team’s efforts after the international break.

2. Charlton Athletic

Charlton’s fairytale start to the EFL Championship finally came to an end this weekend as the Addicks went down 1-0 to Birmingham City at The Valley, courtesy of a solitary strike from Jude Bellingham in the second half.

The Addicks enjoyed a lot of possession and carved out a few decent chances but it just wasn’t their day in front of goal and they will be looking to get themselves back to winning ways when they make the trip to Wigan Athletic next week.

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3. Stoke City

The fans at the Bet 365 Stadium would have hoped for the turnaround of fortunes for their team after the international break but it wasn’t to be, as Bristol City beat the Potters 2-1 on their home turf to inflict a fourth straight defeat in the Championship and sixth overall in the league so far.

Sam Clucas’ early opener certainly gave them hope but Bristol City were always going to be the favourites when Joe Allen received a straight red card in the 12th minute. Up next for Nathan Jones’ side is a trip to Brentford. 

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Arsenal

[Image] Premier League Team of the Week for gameweek 5 featuring Chelsea duo and Norwich star

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2019-20 Premier League: Team of the Week Round 5

Premier League returned to action with a bang this weekend after the end of the international break and Round 5 witnessed plenty of turnarounds in fortunes for some of the big-six clubs.

Liverpool beat Newcastle to preserve their perfect record, Spurs and Chelsea returned to winning ways after a lacklustre start and Arsenal played out an enthralling 2-2 draw away at Watford.

Wolves continued their losing habits and Everton stumbled against Bournemouth, while newcomers Norwich City grabbed the headlines with a shock 3-2 victory over Man City at Carrow Road.  

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There were plenty of individual performances that got the crowd off their seats and it is now time to assemble the standout performers from Round 5 in our Team of the Week.

Premier League Team of the Week

Tim Krul (GK)

The Dutchman showed a tremendous level of calmness and composure between the sticks against a world-class Man City attack and made several key saves to propel his team to an upset victory. 

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Serge Aurier (RB)

Perhaps a rather surprise inclusion in the list, the Ivorian announced his return to Spurs’ starting eleven in an emphatic manner and stole the show against Crystal Palace with a superb all-round display. 

Harry Maguire (CB)

The England international returned to face his former club Leicester City and did ever so well to keep Jamie Vardy at bay in the Red Devils’ 1-0 victory at Old Trafford. 

Fikayo Tomori (CB)

He might not have done an awful lot defensively in Chelsea’s 5-2 victory over Wolves but his 35-yeard screamer is likely to be one of the top contenders for the Goal of the Season award.

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Andrew Robertson (LB)

The Scotsman assisted Sadio Mane’s equaliser in the 3-1 triumph over Newcastle and put in yet another lion-hearted performance down the left-hand side of the pitch.

Scott McTominay (CDM)

The youngster was one of the brightest sparks in United’s victory over Leicester this weekend, thwarting the Foxes with numerous interventions in the middle of the park. 

Emiliano Buendia (LM)

Norwich City, as a unit, completely outplayed Man City in the 3-1 win at home and the Argentinian was one of the standout performers with his creativity and uncompromised work rate. 

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Heung-min Son (RM)

The Korean hasn’t had the best start to the season but he finally rose to the occasion and bagged a brace in the 4-0 drubbing of Crystal Palace, including a stunning volley that rattled the net. 

Roberto Firmino (CAM)

The only inclusion in the elite eleven who came on as a substitute, the Brazilian changed the whole complexion of the game in favour of Liverpool and completely bamboozled the Magpies with his guile, craft and work rate. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST)

One of the sure contenders for the Golden Boot this season, the Gabonese international took his tally up to 5 goals with a well-taken brace against Watford. 

Tammy Abraham (ST)

The Chelsea academy graduate just can’t stop scoring at the moment. The youngster bagged a hat-trick in the Blues’ 5-2 triumph over Wolves and took his tally up to 7, becoming Chelsea youngest-ever player to score a Premier League hat-trick. 

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